Oli UML’s prime ministerial candidate

Kathmandu February 14

CPN-UML Standing Committee today recommended party Chairman KP Sharma Oli as prime ministerial candidate. Oli is likely to stake claim for premiership tomorrow and the CPN-Maoist Centre will support his bid for premiership.

The left alliance comprising the UML and the CPN-MC has a comfortable majority in the 275-member House of Representatives, with UML having 121 seats and the CPN-MC 53.

UML leader Subas Chandra Nembang told THT that the two parties would separately write to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari expressing their support to Oli for premiership. Nembang said Oli would become prime minister under Article 76 (2) of the constitution.

Article 76 (2) states that if no party gets clear majority, the president shall appoint as prime minister the member of the House of Representatives who has majority support of two or more parties represented in the House of Representatives.

UML Standing Committee decided to name Oli as the party’s prime ministerial candidate after Oli held one-on-one meeting with CPN-MC Chair Dahal in the morning, following which Oli and Dahal briefed their party colleagues about their discussion.

UML leaders have proposed that Oli will remain prime minister for three years and Dahal can become prime minister for two years, but the CPN-MC leaders have been saying that Dahal should be the prime minister for two-and-a-half years. Sources said both Oli and Dahal agreed to become co-chairpersons of the unified party but they were yet to reach understanding on who should sign the party’s document.

UML and CPN-MC had forged electoral alliance and the two parties had fielded candidates in the parliamentary and provincial elections in a ratio of 60:40. They had also reached consensus on sharing government posts in six provinces in a ratio of 70:30.

The task force formed by the left alliance has been working on a common minimum programme of the new government on the basis of the joint manifesto of the two parties.

After meeting their parties’ office bearers, Oli and Dahal held another meeting in Lalitpur. The Party Unification Coordination Committee later met at the same venue to finalise issues related to formation of the new government and the parties’ unification.

The PUCC focused on the formation of task forces to draft the unified party’s statute and political document and to finalise an interim organisational structure until the party’s general convention.